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Today’s guest: Justin Robert Young, DTNS contributor and co host of Night Attack, Weird Things and host of The JuRY show
The Next Web reports The United States Central Command twitter and YouTube accounts were accessed and messages posted by a group calling itself the CyberCaliphate and claiming an affiliation with ISIS, presumably referring to DAESH. Links were posted to zip files which contained some public documents as well as others of unverified origin.
The Verge reports that Samsung has added the 5.5 inch Galaxy A7 to its line of metal-frame smartphones. The phone is 6.3mm thick, with a dual 1.8GHz and 1.3GHz quad-core processors (or 1.5GHz and 1.0GHz in the dual-SIM version) and a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon chip 2,600mAh battery and 1280×720 screen resolution, instead of full HD. The A7 also ships with Android 4.4 Kitkat, so no Lollipop on this phone in the immediate future. The phone is expected to be priced at what the Verge describes as “mid-range levels.”
The New York Times reports that according to a declassified report, the FBI has been more involved with the United States warrantless surveillance system over the last few years. Over the past 7 years, The FBI has reviewed email accounts of non-Americans from the NSA’s Prism system, retained copies of unprocessed data for analysis, nominating new email accounts of phone numbers for collection. The information comes from a Justice Department review of activities under the FISA Ammendments Act of 2008. The Times requested the report be declassified through the Freedom of Information Act. Parts of the report remain heavily redacted.
The Next Web reports that US President Barack Obama called for a new law today that would require US companies to report any data breaches to their consumers within 30 days of discovering the attack. The Personal Data Notification and Protection Act would also make it a crime to sell a person’s information overseas. The Federal Trade Commission would be empowered to issue penalties to companies that fail to comply.
Bloomberg Business Week reports IBM was granted the most patents int he US for the 22nd straight year. IBM received 7,534 patents in 2014. Samsung had the second most and Canon third. IBM spends about 6 percent of its annual revenue on research and development. Companies like Google and Oracle spend around 13 percent.
Did someone say Google and Oracle? The US Supreme Court has requested the view of the President of the US regarding an appeal’s court conclusion that Oracle’s Java APIs are protected by copyright. The Supreme Court is considering taking up the case. The US Department of Justice will likely respond to the request. Google’s Vint Cerf argues allowing copyright on code meant to enable programs to talk to one another sets a dangerous precedent. Oracle felt the lower court decision was a victory for software innovation.
Gigaom reports that the interior ministers of 12 European Union countries met on Sunday and issued a joint statement condemning the attacks on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The ministers also reaffirmed their “unfailing attachment to the freedom of expression, human rights, democracy, and tolerance.” Then they called on ISP’s to “create the conditions of a swift reporting of material that aims to incite hatred and terror and the condition of its removing, where appropriate/possible.” Which, could be seen as the opposite of freedom of expression, human rights, democracy, and tolerance. The group also resolved to develop positive, targeted and easily accessible messages, able to counter propaganda.
For the second time in less than a month, Google’s Project Zero disclosed a Microsoft bug before Microsoft got a chance to fix it. Google notifies software manufacturers of a bug and then waits 90 days for it to be fixed before disclosure. Microsoft The Verge quotes Chris Betz, senior director of Microsoft’s Security Response Center summing up the age old debate over responsible disclosure. “Those in favor of full, public disclosure believe that this method pushes software vendors to fix vulnerabilities more quickly and makes customers develop and take actions to protect themselves. We disagree … We believe those who fully disclose a vulnerability before a fix is broadly available are doing a disservice to millions of people and the systems they depend upon.”
Google’s under a little scrutiny themselves. According to Tod Beardlsey, an engineer at security firm Rapid7, there are 11 vulnerabilities in Android WebView, a key component of the old Android browser and one used by apps to display web pages. Google has stopped patching the component for phones running older versions of Android before KitKat. About 46% of Android users run JellyBean the version right before KitKat, meaning those users won’t get the patch. Google refers any patches for those systems version of WebView to OEMs many of whom control the updates anyway. Google does support other patches for older version of Android and also issues patches for its own software through Google Play Services.
GigaOm reports the US FAA has approved CNN to test the use of drones in news coverage. CNN has been working with the Georgia Institute of Technology on drone use for aerial footage. Now CNN will test multiple professional-grade drones for the FAA. The administration will consider setting a range of rules for different drones.
Engadget reports Cuba’s ETECSA telecom is launching it’s own public WiFi in Santiago de Cuba this month. The price will be $4.50 an hour. Keep in mind the average monthly wage was $20 as of 2013. But it’s legal unlike sneaking access to WiFi from hotel’s and offices without approval.
News From You
starfuryzeta submitted the TechCrunch report on the company Palantir formed in 2004. The company is thought to use data mining techniques to assist law enforcement agencies and security companies. TechCrunch received a private document from 2013 that’s being circulated to investors. It describes Palamntir’s data analysis targets as government, fincance sector and legal research. Securities Investment Protection Corporation used Palantir’s software to sort through the mountains of data, over 40 years of records, to convict Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. Clients like the LAPD can search datasets for connections using natural language. It has also been used to comabt fraud. the CIA, DHS, NSA, FBI, the CDC, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point, the Joint IED-defeat organization and Allies, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have all used the sysetem. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists uses Palantir to gain insight into the global trade and illegal trafficking of human tissue.
KAPT_Kipper submitted The Verge report that Google is about to release an updated version of its Google Translate app for Android which will automatically recognize speech in several popular languages and change it into text. Previous statements from Google have hinted that upcoming versions of Google translate would be able to deliver delay-free, “near perfect” translations. Last month Skype unveiled its real time translation program. Time to get those two programs to translate each other in hilarious videos.
Pick of the Day: Downpour via Tom
Downpour for DRM-free audio books. Been trying it out over the weekend and it’s great!
Our next DTNS contributors have been announced: Scott Johnson and Veronica Belmont! If you’d like to hear more of Scott and Veronica, go here: patreon.com/acedtect
DTNS has an Instagram account! Jennie will be posting from CES until she falls down. http://instagram.com/dtnspix/
Tuesday’s guest: Simon Dingle, partner at 22seven and hosts (tech)5 on 5FM in South Africa